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    6 Replies Latest reply on Jan 3, 2010 11:03 AM by DebbyBlitzLoc

    Will Minimum Wage Increase Help Millions of Low-Incomer?

    karenH Adventurer

      Beginning Friday (July 24, 2009), millions of lowest wage-earners will be getting a bump-up in pay, while many already-struggle employers will have to face the burden of increased payroll costs.


      Between 3 million and 5 million people will be affected by the minimum wage rise from $6.55 per hour to $7.25 per hour, says Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis.


      However, this 70 cents increase will not apply to tipped employees, like bartenders and waitresses. They will get the same minimum wage that they got 18 years ago -- just $2.13 an hour.

      Will this minimum wage increase really help millions of low-income workers?
        • Re: Will Minimum Wage Increase Help Millions of Low-Incomer?
          SeniorLiving Wayfarer
          Of course it will help low income earners. The issue is if lesser low income earners are employed in fewer numbers. Some employers will find it hard to pay this additional amount.
          The money given to these low income persons is going to be spent immediately on goods and service givng a direct boost to the economy unlike giving $100 to a person earning $100,000 a year which may go into savings. In these bad times it is important that spending on goods and services increases, so there is an important secondary effect which you are not considering.
          I think it was Benjamin Franklin who said, No country has grown rich by underpaying its labor.
          • Re: Will Minimum Wage Increase Help Millions of Low-Incomer?
            sirvonron Newbie
            First of all the new minimum wage does include tipping workers. As always the employer must guarantee an employee's wages will equal (with tips or without) the new minimum wage. There are many loopholes regarding other workers (such as broadcasters in towns under 100,000) and enforcement is lax and sometimes nonexistent, often viewed as something akin to jaywalking. Also the burden of proof is on the employee, so one must have a perfect and accurate time card, either a copy of the one turned into the employer or another one kept on the side. Most employees can barely fill out their time cards on time and won't make dupicates for fear of getting caught with the extra paperwork or being at the copy machine just as cards are being requested. Also some employers ask their employees to turn in time cards that don't reflect extra overtime. The law still applies to all hours worked, but the burden of proof is on the employee. There is little tolerance to those unwilling to keep accurate documentation of actual hours worked, even if that documentation is different from the one turned in to the employer. Many employers say if you sign their time card, then that is the end of the story. Not true, but it does make having a second time card more important than ever. In most cases, if an employee has a good case, the employer will often eventually agree to a settlement that meets you halfway. Most employees can't afford to wait any longer, so they accept. Then your employer often will find a way to fire you or make you quit, even though that is also illegal but hard to prove.

            Still, raising the minimum wage does generally bring about a higher standard of living for all. Countries with no minimum wage or that have eliminated it, have often paid a price with a reduced robust in their economies.
            • Re: Will Minimum Wage Increase Help Millions of Low-Incomer?
              amspcs Ranger
              Not really. Businesses will just pass the increased costs of payroll onto customers, meaning the folks who now earn a lttle more will also pay a little more for their goods and services.
              Round and round we go, and wel'll ultilmately end up right back where we started.

              Want to REALLY help low wage earners? Do things to help and encourage small business. THAT's what creates jobs, and that's what America is all about. If well paying jobs are there, and IF people want to get up off their duffs
              and get the skills and education necessary to fill them, there's the answer to our problems. Enabling unskilled low wage earners to keep on doing what they're doing is NOT the answer. I know this may not be the politically correct opinion, but it IS the truth.
              • Re: Will Minimum Wage Increase Help Millions of Low-Incomer?
                DebbyBlitzLoc Adventurer
                Increasing minimum wage did in fact help many lower income workers. Was it the fix the economy needed, of course not but it did help many. We need to remember that those performing the jobs that pay lower incomes are as vital to our economy as the CEO's and Owners of business. As inflation continues to increase so should wages. It really is that simple. Sure it is tough on some companies to meet the additional burden, but if we would encourage more people to start new businesses maybe we would have less people unemployed.